Monday, February 22, 2010

I'm truly speechless.....

Yes......I was a horse-loving child that "rode" anything that could even remotely resemble a horse. Dad's sawhorses......the list goes on and on and on. But when I spotted this in a catalog......WOW! I'm just speechless. LMAO!!! Click on the lick above and enjoy! On a positive note.....I guess it doesn't eat or poop???

Friday, February 19, 2010

An unexpected twist....

Those of us that "do" horses accept that each time we get on, we may get off sooner than we plan. Whether by centrifugal force directed by the horse......whether we fall off on our own.....or by some other happening...falls happen. If you can't deal with it, don't get on in the first place. I have gone off twice in the last 9 months. Once by my own sheer stupidity. And once because my horse decided he wanted me off. I bounced. I bruised. I brushed myself off and gathered whatever was left of my dignity and got back on. End of story.

Well......neither of my daughters have gone off. Yet. That day will come. Later rather than sooner, I hope. But WILL come.

But yesterday, a fellow riding mate of Tiersten's went off while we were at the barn. I heard it happening......looked up in time to see the crash.......heard the crying and saw her running to Cassie.......and went back to what I was doing. In my mind, if she's crying and running, she's okay and doesn't need the humiliation of more witnesses. I could dial 9-1-1 if necessary, but there were no bodily injuries here.

Jennica was sort of non-impacted by the whole event. In her own little SPD way, she didn't seem to grasp that Kailee hadn't meant to dismount at that exact moment. Okay......whatever.

But Tiersten. Tiersten surprised me. She was interested. How did it happen? What did Sunny (the horse) do to make Kailee fall off? And then........a whole host of excuses for Sunny!!!

I was instantly transported back to a moment about 15 years ago when I sat in an arena and held the head of an injured student and friend's daughter in my lap. She had been bucked off her horse and was injured seriously enough that we called an ambulance. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, she made me promise over and over and over that I would NOT let her Dad kill her horse. She kept telling me that it was not the horse's fault that she had gone off and please please please don't let her Dad kill her horse. All while still lying in the dirt, helmet still on, and waiting for an ambulance to arrive. (Lisa ended up with a bone chip on her pelvis from that ride. She was back on the horse within two weeks. I still see her often, and she is now married, an RN, and has a newborn little boy.)

All the sudden, it is my daughter with the insatiable love for horses and making excuses so the horse is not blamed. The day will came when Tiersten is the one to hit the dirt. I'm already guessing that its never going to be the horse's fault in her eyes. Too funny!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What a month! And its only the 17th????

Unless I can salvage it in the second half, I think February of 2010 might just go down in history as one of my worst months ever. For so many reasons. I am unmotivated at this point in time. The usual things that drive me to excel have shifted. I just don't want to. Do. Anything. Except play. And enjoy life.

I've had a great time lately playing with the girls and Yodi. Tiersten is making the most of her weekly riding lessons and is excelling faster than she really should be. When she kept bugging Cassie, her instructor, about when she gets to start jumping, Cassie gave her a long list of things that she needed to accomplish before she would be ready to jump. I applauded Cassie for this, as I thought it would be a subtle way to prolong the jumping chatter for a solid 18 months (or longer) while she developed the skills, and gained the strength and size that she really needs to be jumping safely. Well......Tiersten is slamming through the list items pretty darn quickly. Cassie and I have both already realized that we're just going to have to have a "sit down" and tell Tiersten that she is simply not strong enough yet to handle a 1,000-pound horse on a jumping course. Despite the fact that she can do all the things on "the list". Period. As for Jennica, the "no fear" issue definitely crosses over to horses. She rides strictly on a lunge line, with a sane adult firmly attached to the other end. Without it, she would be laughing like crazy and be trying to talk the horse into a full gallop in 10 seconds or less. SPD and personal safety awareness just don't go hand-in-hand. ( the case of some kids with SPD, they are so afraid of everything that they never let go of the parents' hands. Jennica isn't that type......) Tiersten will probably do a little competing in Dressage this spring/summer with the US Pony Club. I still have mixed feelings about her competing so young, but in the end, she's very self-driven to excel. We're keeping a close eye on it and just seeing where it leads.

Grant wrapped up his basketball career last week and went out with a bang. He has already rather loudly announced that he will wrestle in high school, which means that he very likely may not play organized basketball again. Ever. His last game he ended up playing point guard from buzzer to buzzer. Some other boys on his team that usually play that position had managed to get in trouble and/or injured, so Grant was the last one that knew the position. Run Grant, Run! :) His team was undefeated for the last two years, so those that stick with basketball next year will probably be quickly humbled with the higher level of play in high school. I wish them the best.........and I'm really glad that Grant is going with wrestling.

Dane wrestled his way to Regionals, and lost only to highly-competitive seniors. I know he would like to be wrestling at State this weekend, but he did extremely well in a very difficult bracket. A large group of seniors in our region means that Dane will definitely step into the upper levels next year. Hope he's ready!

And as for Mike and I........we've both been knocked back a bit by Max's death. We are both turning off the computers earlier in the evening, and spending more time just "being" with the kids. I'm working less again, and justifying it to myself by saying that I need to be doing things for the family. I have been short-tempered with stressed-out lenders, and haven't been as gracious with their usual antics as I usually am. "This is my turn-time and fee. Take it or leave it!" If they choose to leave it, I've been thrilled as it gives me even more time to play with the kids. Thats okay for awhile.......but the warning whistles are ringing in my head that I can't keep this up forever. Whether I like it or not, customer service is a part of appraising.

And Mike and I have both spent money on the kids in the last few weeks that we wouldn't normally splurge on.......and are just enjoying that they are still here so that we can spend money on them. For example, Dane didn't get his usual Regionals Wrestling T-shirt. He got a very nice Regionals Sweatshirt instead. And, Tiersten got a nice pair of brand-name leather half-chaps for Valentines Day like the "big girls" wear at the barn. None of this will break our bank, but they aren't necessarily the type of expenditures that we usually make. Hmmmm...

And goes on. Its really no different. And yet, it has changed immensely. Priorities have shifted. New things have taken their place. And the beat goes on.

(By the way, I'm working on getting some new photos of the girls with the horses. However, its extremely difficult to get kids and horses clean at the same time. Hopefully, our current sunshine is going to hold and dry up some of the mud!)

Monday, February 01, 2010

A favorite photo...

This picture is one of my all-time favorites of Jennica. It was taken at the Day Care last summer, and I finally talked them out of it. Enjoy! :)

Okay.......Where'd the video go?

The video that was supposed to be attached to the previous post has vanished. **POOF**

So......I'm going to have to stick to photos for now. Hmmmm......

In any case, Dane tied for 6th in a 16-man bracket for his weight class this last weekend. Sub-regionals are this coming Saturday, so keep your fingers crossed. He SHOULD move easily on to Regionals, but I know he'll feel better once its over. He knows that he would have to wrestle exceptionally well to make it to State, so for now, he's just taking it one weekend at a time.

We didn't get to attend Dane's wrestling meet this weekend, as we actually spent two days on the road with Grant at a basketball tournament. This was a non-school-associated tourney, so we were short part of his normal 8th grade team but, for the most part, these were the same kids. They played marginally well on Saturday.......and HORRID on Sunday. Not sure what happened between Saturday and Sunday......but oh well. Tonight we play Willapa Valley at home (school-sanctioned) and the boys take great delight in decimating them, so they will be "up" for a victory tonight. This will also be the first event in our home gym since our tragedy last week, so I hope the kids are able to focus on the game and try to let go of their grief for awhile.

Max's Celebration of Life service is scheduled for February 7th. It will be another long week for these kids, as they come to terms with their loss and struggle with the reasons behind his actions. All of us in the community are just holding our children close and telling them how much they are loved. This was a startling and shocking reminder as to how unpredictable life can truly be.